Vietnam’s Greengar, an app that connects different mobile devices to enable real-time communication won the top prize at the Dragon’s Den Pitching Competition held at the 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Tech entrepreneurship.
Kenya’s mPayer came second for their application that enables mobile transactions as well as cash, followed by South Africa’s Afroes for its mobile applications delivering positive educational messages at number three.
The runners up were Amant Antenna from Egypt for its novel cellular-based antenna technology covering multiple frequency bands, and Armenia’s Microforrester for an app that tracks forestation projects.
The 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ended in East London today, with an announcement of the five best entrepreneurs with innovative and technology-based solutions.
The five were chosen among 50 of the world’s most inspiring high-growth entrepreneurs who participated in this year’s Dragon’s Den Pitching Competition.
An eminent jury consisting of angel investors, top policy makers and international donors judged the pitching firms on the criteria of commercial potential, long-term success and impact on society.
The Dragons’ Den was one of the highlights at the Global Forum, organised by the World Bank’s infoDev, South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Eastern Cape Province.
The Top 5 was awarded cash prizes of a total of US$ 40,000 (approximately R 400,000).
InfoDev Programme Manager Valerie D’Costa congratulated the winners, saying they represent the best innovative minds from emerging economies. “The quality and richness of ideas seen at the Global Forum is very encouraging. These are the high-growth entrepreneurs that can create sustainable companies creating jobs, impacting positively on society.”
The DST Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources, Mmboneni Muofhe, said the competition was a crucial pillar of the Global Forum and of South Africa’s partnership with infoDev as it celebrated innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. “It is also encouraging that the competitors are predominantly young people, which is why I believe it is not only the 50 entrepreneurs who are winners but all of us from different corners with the potential to make the world a better place.”
Head of Eastern Cape Innovate, Mr Simphiwe Dzengwa, said the Dragon’s Den was an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to learn how to present their concepts to potential funders. He committed the province to keep boosting innovative firms.
Apart from the award competition, the Global Forum was a platform to connect entrepreneurs with mentors, financiers and partners from around the globe, and to exchange ideas of how to create the right ‘eco-system’ for innovative firms.